Foreign lorry drivers who spend less than 48 hours in the UK will NOT have to pass a Covid test

Lorry drivers who spend less than 48 hours in the UK will NOT have to pass a Covid test before being allowed into France as rules are relaxed from TONIGHT in a bid to speed up cross-border travel

  • Transport Secretary Grant Shapps made the announcement today
  • Currently HGV drivers heading to France are obliged to take a Covid-19 test
  • But from 11pm those who have been in UK less than 48 hours will not have to

Rules forcing lorry drivers to pass a Covid test before being allowed to leave the UK and enter France are to be relaxed from tonight.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that the measure, which has added a layer of bureaucracy to the cross-Channel journey, was being waived for drivers who have spent less than 48-hours in the UK.

It will come into effect from 11pm tonight.

Currently HGV drivers heading to France from the UK are obliged to take a Covid-19 test before arriving at outbound ports, such as Dover or the Eurotunnel.

Mr Shapps tweeted: ‘I’ve agreed more flexibility in testing for hauliers travelling from the UK to France.

‘From 11pm tonight, lorries returning to France from UK having spent less than 48hrs in the UK will NO LONGER require a Coronavirus test.’

Currently HGV drivers heading to France from the UK are obliged to take a Covid-19 test before arriving at outbound ports, such as Dover or the Eurotunnel.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that the measure, which has added a layer of bureaucracy to the cross-Channel journey, was being waived for drivers who have spent less than 48-hours in the UK.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that the measure, which has added a layer of bureaucracy to the cross-Channel journey, was being waived for drivers who have spent less than 48-hours in the UK.

Cross-channel operators will give drivers evidence of the time of their trip to the UK, which can then be shown at check-in for the return journey.

French authorities will also recognise proof of a negative coronavirus test taken in Ireland if the test was taken less than 72 hours before departure from the UK for France.

Drivers will still need to test negative if they are travelling to Denmark, Germany or the Netherlands, or are going to France after spending longer than 48 hours in the UK, according to the Government website.

Meanwhile DUP leader Arlene Foster today has urged the Government to deal with the ‘rupturing’ of the east-west relationship between Ulster and Great Britain caused by the Northern Ireland Protocol.

On Monday a debate at Westminster triggered by her party’s e-petition will ask the Government to take action to replace this ‘flawed and deeply damaging’ Protocol.

The DUP has vowed to overthrow the post-Brexit trade mechanism which has disrupted trade from the rest of the UK to Northern Ireland.

Mrs Foster said: ‘There is no question of the public anger towards the Protocol. The petition demonstrated that.

‘Brussels and London must work for a permanent solution. Temporary measures will not work.

‘The Protocol is flawed and has ruptured the east-west strand of the Belfast Agreement.’

On Monday, Parliament will debate the e-petition she tabled calling for the triggering of Article 16 which allows the Government to override the protocol and ensure unfettered trade from GB-NI.

More than 140,000 have signed the petition, with the 100,000-signature threshold for a debate surpassed in just over 24 hours.

DUP leader Arlene Foster today has urged the Government to deal with the 'rupturing' of the east-west relationship between Ulster and Great Britain caused by the Northern Ireland Protocol.

DUP leader Arlene Foster today has urged the Government to deal with the ‘rupturing’ of the east-west relationship between Ulster and Great Britain caused by the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Mrs Foster said: ‘The European Union and the Government must recognise that to press on with the Protocol with every single unionist party opposed to it will lead to failure.

‘Every agreement involving Northern Ireland has always required the consent of all sides. Consensus has been our watchword.’

The EU moved to trigger Article 16 over the distribution of vaccines but quickly reversed its decision.

Mrs Foster said: ‘The European Union claim their triggering of Article 16 was ‘a mistake’ but to close their eyes to unionist opposition to this Protocol will be another mistake.

‘The Prime Minister must work for a permanent solution before the end of the grace periods when even greater disruption will become apparent.

‘There needs to be unfettered trade from GB-NI.’

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